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I don't remember asking you a ******* thing!
Review #1: The Hunger Games

The country of Panem seems to enjoy blood and gore at the expense of small children and teens. Every year in this futuristic countryóplanted on the ruins of the U.S.A. no lessóthe Capitol of Panem decides to hold an annual Hunger Games as punishment for a massive uprising that lead to the destruction of District 13, the leaders of the rebellion. This is an arena duel in which twenty-four ďtributesĒ, one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts, must fight to the death in order to win. Last one standing wins great riches, simple as that. While not the first to come up with this kind of idea, the bookís author Suzanne Collins has created a unique twist on the idea, and Director Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) has beautifully adapted it to the big screen.

The premise stated above is the entire plot of this film. It centers around a girl named Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). Katniss is a girl in District 12, the poorest district. She is a fifteen year old hunter who gathers food outside the outer fence in order to keep her family alive. She hunts with her friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth), whoís been her best friend and guide for a few years. Both actors play their part superbly, with Lawrence giving the audience the same incredible depth and range she showed in X-Men: First Class. Her portrayal of Katniss is dead-on, bringing the tough yet loving fighter to life throughout the whole show. Hemsworth does an admirable job too, considering the short screen time heís given.

On the day of the games, Katnissís sister Prim (Willow Shields) is selected for the games in a scene that captures the hopelessness and cruelty of the actual games, with not one dreary face missed. Fearing for her sisterís life, Katniss volunteers so that Prim would live, knowing full and well the consequences of participating in the blood sport. Joining her is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the bakerís son. Hutcherson, too, shows great power in his role, giving the timid Peeta a strength the audience can identify with almost immediately.

Assisting them are Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), the perky District 12 team leader, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), a past winner whoís glued to his flask, and Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), the stylistóbecause the tributes must look great before theyíre bathed in blood. Each helps the two from District 12 as much as they can in order to make them appeal to the audience about to watch the games.

The film itself is excellently paced, especially for its length of two hours and twenty minutes. Not one moment is wasted, and few give the audience any peace of mind. I found myself chewing on my fingers more than my popcorn watching this flick, it was that suspenseful. Even the moments that set up the games themselves held the collective breath of the audience, with little time to catch it in between.

The rest of the cast is well-acted as well, with one of the tributes giving an intense and frightening performance as a vicious competitor wanting nothing more than to shed a lot of blood. Not bad considering she only had five minutes to deliver such a powerhouse scene. Another tribute, a pre-teen girl with no room in her heart for violence, helps Katniss out and delivers one of the more emotional scenes in the film. No tribute, announcer, or President is spared a lousy actor or actress, and the film benefits greatly from that choice.

By the time the actual games come around though, the film gives us a bit of a mixed bag. While subtle scenes deliver chills and shocks, the action suffers from overzealous and shaky camera work that barely keeps up with the action and gore (which is toned down a bit from the source material). The director isnít known for shooting action films, however, so this is a forgivable offense for the time being. The rest of the event is shot beautifully and executed in such a way that many scenes feel grand without them needing to be.

Itís not a completely faithful adaptation, mind you. The novel is told in Katnissís single point of view, while the film gives us the behind-the-scenes look from the view of the Capitol, the audience, and even some of the other tributes. This is the strength the film has over the novel, where the movie-goer experiences this social drama going on, this underlying focus on the lust for media violence the film seems to throw at us from all angles, both subtle and in-your-face. It does take away a few scenes with Katniss that fans of the novel might cringe about, but none of them are too glaring to even consider.

A lot of loose ends get created in the process, however, which obviously set up for the sequel, Catching Fire. Also, some of the CGI effects, such as the tracker-jackers and the Hulk dogs the gamemakers send out, are done rather poorly, and distract from the very realistic portrayal of this fictional universe. The Peeta/Katniss romance does seem a bit cheesy at times (as shows in the writing on occasion), but at the same time is touching and not too overdone like in many teen dramas.

Overall, this is a flawed, yet faithful adaptation to a well-written and highly popular novel series that will see no end in the near future. The shaky camera during the action might take away the suspense factor a bit and the CGI is distracting, but the overall feel of the film overshadows everything else, from the great score, the great acting all across the board, and the social message it tries to deliver.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I don't remember asking you a ******* thing!
Review #2: Kick-Ass

Film adaptations of comic books usually don't fair well in theaters. However, Kick-Ass managed to find popularity in both the box office and with audiences. It got positive reviews and people seemed to enjoy watching it. However, I'm in the minority that felt the film didn't hold up at all. While the humor is intelligent and gets a few laughs, I find that the rest of the film doesn't do what other hero films have done for me in the past.

The premise is nothing new. A teen named Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), tired of seeing nobody stopping criminals when cops are absent, decides to take matters into his own hands and become a superhero. He eventually gets caught up fighting a drug ring led by Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong), who is also being chased by established heroes Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and his daughter Hit-Girl (Chloe Mortez). I thought to myself "Hey, this kid's like Spider-Man without any personal motivation." I've seen worse set-ups for superhero films, so I can forgive this.

Johnson himself as Dave isn't too terrible an actor, but as a hero, he's out of his league. He has no skills, though Big Daddy tells him he has potential. He does become better, but I can't say the same for the rest of the film. Nicholas Cage is his usual hammy self, but watching him try to imitate the style of ham-master Adam West is painful to me.

Hit-Girl, on the other hand, is where I drew the line with this movie. Maybe it's just me, but I cannot stand to see an 11 year old girl swearing as much as she does in the film. Plus, even though she's skilled, I can't help but think she shouldn't be caught up in such a dangerous world.

The action fairs pretty well, with scenes executed the way traditional superhero films are done. Not one scene stuck with me, however, and so I have to say that though they're done well, they're pretty unmemorable in my eyes. The writing is pretty good as well, but again, it's nothing too special in my eyes.

I can see why people liked Kick-Ass. It's entertaining as far as it goes. I just think people overlook certain things. For me, however, I couldn't get into the lame premise, laughable characters, the little girl acting more mature than she should, and the forgettable action.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Hit-Girl, on the other hand, is where I drew the line with this movie. Maybe it's just me, but I cannot stand to see an 11 year old girl swearing as much as she does in the film. Plus, even though she's skilled, I can't help but think she shouldn't be caught up in such a dangerous world.
Then you missed the point.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

I don't remember asking you a ******* thing!
I probably did miss the point, but I still didn't like that element of the film. I don't deny that it has entertainment value, because I laughed during a few scenes. It's just the overall film didn't entertain me enough.

I don't remember asking you a ******* thing!
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

A spy thriller is meant to engage the audience, force them to think and examine every clue. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy does this and more. It lets the audience into a fascinating world of intelligence in 70s England, and gives us memorable characters, each with their own secrets and stories to tell.

The premise of the story is old as the hills: a British intelligence unit dubbed the "Circus" is on the hunt for a Russian double agent. The tricky part is that the agent is one of the higher ups, the leaders. This leads to a hunt filled with turns, twists, and interesting clues being used. They use a retired spy to help them along with things go out of hand, and that's when the film picks up and flows along.

The film is written exquisitely. Lines of dialogue are intelligent without being histrionic, and the scenes and shots are outstanding in the overall direction. There's a methodical pace to the film that will alienate those that enjoy a more pressing story that speeds along. If this film did that, however, vital facts would be missed and the audience would be left confused.

The true strength of the film is the acting. Packed with an ensemble cast, the talents of Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, and more are used to their highest standards. Not one performance is anything less than engaging, and each of them deliver powerhouse lines. But it's Gary Oldman as George Smiley that truly makes this film. Oldman is in a surprisingly subtle role when compared to the bulk of his work, but he stuns and delivers a unique performance that enthralls every time he's on screen.

The score is fantastic as well, capturing the subtlety of film with grace. It might not be a powerful score, but it works within the context of the overall film.

The casual viewer will be confused at various points, as the clues don't quite match up until the final act, where all the twists meet up excellently and the resolution becomes more apparent to the audience. I was certainly satisfied with it all. Even the slow pace wasn't a deterrent, as the film requires a analytical mentality.

Overall, this is a unique spy film that definitely does everything right. The slow pace might be off-putting, and the clues don't always match up until the final act, but the acting, direction, score, and overall atmosphere is enough to engage the brain and solidly entertain.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I don't remember asking you a ******* thing!
Moulin Rouge!

Okay, so this is the film that revitalized the musical movie, right? It brought us Chicago, Hairspray, and Sweeney Todd, among many other similar products. Does it mean the original is worth the praise? I certainly donít think so. While it did catch the audienceís attention with flashy camera tricks and unique sets, it doesnít hold up as well as people make it out to be, with too many hammy performances and plot holes that grow out of proportion.

First, I want to bring up the main good about the film before people jump me for bashing a very popular movie. Moulin Rouge brought back a dying form of film. The musical hadnít been all that popular since The Sound of Music. Sure, Disney films always have music, but those are animated films targeted mainly at kids. Adult musicals werenít around anymore, and so when Moulin Rouge came out, it was a breath of fresh air to directors who were sitting on their hands, wanting people to appreciate the style of Broadway on the Big Screen.

The film, by fault or by necessity, follows a typical Hollywood romance. A writer named Christian, played by Ewan McGregor, is in a depressed slump as he spoils the film by saying his one true love is dead. Thatís a huge leap for any film to take, considering audience want there to be a destination to the film, not just a journey.

Then, a flashback appears. We are then hit with an onslaught of great camera angles with a wittily scripted scene as Christian meets an acting troupe wanting to produce a play in a proper location. Unfortunately, the filmís abominable editing ruins the chance for the audience to appreciate any of it. If a shot could sit still for five seconds for the audience to breathe and take in the well-placed headshots and great wide angles, maybe I wouldnít have shouted at the screen saying ďtake some damn Ritalin, movie!Ē

The film follows this trend right up to where we see the namesake: the Moulin Rouge nightclub, where beyond fast editing and less than memorable musicóall of which, by the way, are nothing more than cheap Broadway versions of popular songs. Itís here where we meet Satine, played by Nicole Kidman. While her performance as a popular nightclub girl on top of the world wanting to be even more popular (only in America, right?) isnít the worst, itís certainly up there. Her subtle moments are overshadowed by too many scenes of hammy dancing and over-played emotions. Kidman is a fine actress, Iím sure, but this is her trying too hard.

It turns out sheís set to marry a duke, played by Richard Roxburgh. While his role is over-the-top, itís nothing new for Roxburgh, who made his career playing similar villainous roles.

When Satine finds Christian, mistaking him for the Duke, theyíre both immediately taken in by each other. Upon realizing heís not the Duke, however, it doesnít really matter as they keep their romance a secret from the Duke with the help of the acting troupe. Okay, the Romeo and Juliet storyline has been used well in the past but here it seems forced and unbelievable due to Christianís nervous demeanor. When combined with the fact that Satine is also a courtesan (the renaissance prostitute), which makes you wonder what the real Dukeís true intentions are with her.

The love element in this film feels awkward from the get go. Instead of analyzing, the word is repeated through either action or through the spoken form, never straying too far from the simple and into the more complex territory that makes actual love so mysterious. All we know about love from this film is that itís really, really good and everybody wants it. Nothing more or less. Does it help the film? Sure, if youíre a teenage girl who always hopes for that special someone to come along and sweep you off your feet.

The musical numbers in this film are numerous, with only one of those songs being original. Everything else is a rehash of famous pop songs from artists like Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Queen. While some songs are done well, some donít get the treatment they deserve, and fall into obscurity throughout the rest of the film.

Numerous plot points become convoluted and become filled out with more holes than a target on a shooting range. One scene where Christian feels betrayed is a mess of a misunderstanding that makes our lovable hero seem like a jerk. The plan to hide Satineís illness from her lover is also confusing, making it seem as if true love is all about hiding secrets that could easily be handled. Betrayals are also misunderstandings and never come to fruition.

Few things come together in this film, like the dance sequences and the slower scenes with character development. Other than that, this film is frenzied, confused, and otherwise forgettable. While it may entertain those into musicals and love stories, itís not a film to constantly pop into the DVD player. It has its entertainment value, but it doesnít go much deeper than that. It doesnít make it a bad film; it just means that there are things people overlook when compared to the much nicer aspects.

Rating: two out of five stars

Movie Forums Extra
The bad thing i have not watch this movie yet, its a big hit in these days

I don't remember asking you a ******* thing!
Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino is a director who rarely follows the conventions of the average cinema feature. His first feature film Reservoir Dogs brought a unique twist on the crime drama. Though a great film, it left audiences wondering what else Tarantino had up his sleeve. His second effort, Pulp Fiction, gave the answer.

What can I say about this film that hasn't already been said? It's exciting, it's original, the acting and direction are phenomenal, and the story (or stories, as it were) is both complex and entertaining. Tarantino took a film industry bloated with average melodramas and frustratingly bland comedies and gave us a fresh and original screenplay that has become a gem of modern cinema.

The film is about a few interesting characters: two hitmen (John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson), a down on his luck boxer (Bruce Willis), a mob boss (Ving Rhames) and his wife (Uma Thurman), and many other just as colorful people. There are three main stories all intertwined in some manner that isn't fully revealed until the end when everything ties together. The situations these people are placed in are average, to say the least. However, it's their personalities and the writing that help make each situation that much more fascinating to watch.

The acting all across the board is top-dollar acting. Travolta, Jackson, Thurman, and Willis each give the performance of their careers, adding elements of their own personalities into the established characteristics of their on-screen persona. Cameos by Tarantino himself, Christopher Walken, and a very notable performance by Harvey Keitel help provide excellent development for these characters as well.

Every scene is shot well, with special mention going towards scenes involving slower dialogue moments. The focus placed on the characters as well as the background they're in allows for a great appreciation for Tarantino's direction. This is a man in love with film, and the numerous references to both pop culture and past films are endearing and nostalgic.

The writing is the true marvel of this film. Quentin Tarantino and fellow screenwriter Roger Avery both created a script that satirizes modern film conventions, includes dialogue that feels natural and still manages to stay true to the main story, and doesn't rely on any form of pre-established formula.

It is a little hard to follow for the first fifteen to twenty minutes, but everything all starts making sense after that, leading to terrific dialogue, well-paced action scenes, and excellently acted situations all around. For die-hard action film fans used to Tarantino's later works like Kill Bill and Grindhouse, the film might seem a bit slow. For the dramatic film goer, there are many surprisingly hilarious scenes where there is "supposed" to be drama. Either way, there's something for everybody, and though it is heavy on the dialogue (and I mean really heavy), it's one of the few truly original concepts around, and it happens to be my personal favorite film.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Ok MM... been a while since your last review so... your turn... 5 Pixar movies that I didn't cover
Originally Posted by doubledenim
Garbage bag people fighting hippy love babies.

Bots gotta be bottin'

I don't remember asking you a ******* thing!
Up Review

Pixar films are rarely anything short of magical. From Toy Story to Brave, Pixar has given us lively animated films that have lived in the hearts of many, inspiring joy and wonder in audiences of all ages. Up is definitely no exception to this rule. It delivers all the adventure and excitement of previous Pixar endeavors while also moistening even the driest of eyes.

The story is of a man named Carl Fredricksen, a widower who one day decides to tie up thousands of balloons to his home and lift it off the ground to escape his daily life and explore the world like his wife would want him to. However, a stowaway boy scout named Russell gets trapped on the house during liftoff, and Carl is forced to let the overeager boy join him.

Along the way, Carl, Russell, and the audience discover some of the richest and most beautiful original scenery Pixar has ever imagined. It rivals even Wall-E in terms of beauty, life, and overall wonder. From majestic canyons and forests to Dr. Seuss-like wild creatures, the animators have clearly outdone themselves with this undertaking.

The voice acting is downright sublime. Edward Asner as Carl gives the feeling of a cantankerous old man who lost everything he loved, but still manages to retain his heart. Jordan Nagai as Russell is curious, eccentric, but very charming altogether. The cast also includes Christopher Plummer, animator Bob Peterson, and Pixar cameo staple John Ratzenberger, each giving some of their best voice work yet.

It's also the chemistry, both seen and heard, that really melts the heart. A lengthy scene showing Carl and his late wife Ellie experience life and grow old together brought a tear to my eye, and I'm not one easily caught up with sentimentality. Carl's relationship with Russell is similar to a grandfather teaching his grandson about life, and is very believable through both the dialogue and the animation. Every character plays off one another wonderfully, as to be expected with Pixar.

The score for this film is something I can only describe as magical. Each scene is given a personal touch with the music, and the only way to appreciate it all is to just sit back, drown out all the dialogue, and immerse yourself into the environment while the music plays on. Indescribable feeling, right there.

Don't be fooled by the seemingly serious nature of the theme of moving on from the past, however. Pixar's signature brand of humor makes its way to Up, and the result is downright hilarious to the point where even Monsters, Inc. is making a run for its money. Several scenes had me pinned to the couch clutching my sides. Many laugh out loud moments to be had here, along with a clever amount of subtlety.

In all, one of Pixar's finest films to date. It lacks in nothing and delivers on everything possible, plus so much more. Even if Pixar or animated films are not your forte, I strongly urge anybody to watch this film, if only to bring a smile to your heart with every scene.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars